Hi Dear Friends As I sit here pondering my writings with you I can't help think this is the shortest day of the year darkness comes so quickly these days, but now we can look for each day to be a bit longer and a bit brighter and slowly day by day we will before you know it be into Spring and who is there among us who doesn't love to see the signs of spring and the rebirth of all nature?
I also realize though that these are the times when the engine hobbyists and gas buffs all get their wares and beautiful and dutiful engines gone over for the great shows coming up in 1988and then, of course, when you look and see this is the March-April issue, before you know it you will be trucking off your showpieces and gems for the oohs and aahs of the clan that loves steam and gas. Keep working, gentlemen and ladies time has a way of getting here sooner than you think. I know you are all looking forward to the upcoming Reunions and sharing the growing friendships and ideas from others who have the same interests as your own.
Keep the letters coming and please let us know of any new thing we should know and of the fun things that happen, or the educational values that emerge from each show. Also let us know if you are pleased or displeased with anything we might do we do aim to please we care about you and your thoughts, views, suggestions and just plain friendly letters too. And don't forget, you are a great part of what makes America great!
And with that we will continue on with letters and items
Needing some answers, this letter comes from RICHARD M. BANDY, Route 2, 265 North Duncan Road, Alvaton, Kentucky 42122: 'Where are the Port Huron, Serial No. 8602 and Serial No. 8206 and Keck-Gonnerman 19-65 Serial No. 1869? I have much information on above engines for present owners.'
Tom White of Crescent Blvd., Simcoe, Ont., N3Y 2K8, sent this photo of his grandson, Aaron Culver , at the throttle of his 2' Waterloo, with part of the 2 Waterloo separator showing.
Received an interesting letter from Herrol Skidmore at New Mexico State University recently and thought that since Herrol is quite a ways outside my sphere of operations, perhaps our readership in New Mexico could pitch in and help with what sounds like a super project, as well as an opportunity to do a hands on project with tired iron in the public interest. (This letter is from J. MIKE POWERS, SR., Homestead Press, 2293 Kootenia River Road, Libby, Montana 59923).
'Would you please publish this letter in the next issue? Working with an educational institution should be right up your alley, since education of the public is what we are all about.' (So following is Herrol's letter to Mike).
'This coming year New Mexico State University will be celebrating its Centennial, 1888-1988, as an institution of higher learning. Throughout the coming year each college will sponsor events which will highlight their accomplishments over the past one hundred years.'
'The College of Engineering has decided to celebrate the Centennial with an Engineering Fair. This Fair will include corporate displays which will demonstrate robotics, computer aided design and many other new technologies.'
'To contrast with the new technologies we are interested in locating 'working' historical displays which demonstrate the evolution of engineering. We are particularly interested in learning of persons who enjoy working and restoring steam traction engines, gasoline engines, vintage automobiles, farm implements and equipment, and any other items of this kind.'
'It is our goal to invite you and anyone else who you know that shares an interest in the above hobbies to join us for our fair. This fair will be held February 26-27, 1988 on the campus of New Mexico State University from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.'
'If you know anyone who has any interesting historical articles, please contact me at this address: HERROL J. SKIDMORE, P. E. Department of Engineering Technology, Box 3566, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003 or telephone 505-646-2236 during business hours.' (Herrol is a professor, Engineering Technology. Chairman of NMSU Engineering Fair Committee.)
I wish we would have had this material before but it just came to me recently, so maybe some of you in that area could get to the Fair, or call or write Herrol.
A beautiful, caring letter comes from MRS. BELVA BALFOUR, R. R. 1, Portland, Ontario, KDG 1V0: 'I am writing for my good husband to tell you he had to discontinue renewing our subscription to your really good magazine which we have enjoyed for a number of years, due to illness unless a miracle happens.'
'Last February 1, 1987, he had a stroke (as if being a cripple all his life caused from polio wasn't enough), but we have to believe it must have been for some reason beyond our comprehending and live on as God tells us to try to do.'
'He is a patient in a local chronic care hospital as I could not care for him at home, after trying every possible way, as he required 24 hour care.'
'While there are many much worse, he cannot enjoy the magazine, so asked me to write you. If any of you good folks would like to send him a card, it would be much appreciated. We have made so many friends through reading your ALBUM and have helped others through loaning ours.'
'I thank you Anna Mae, if you are still at the helm and staff it's hard and sad to say goodbye, but God bless you one and all. Sincerely, Belva (wife).'
I hope many of you folks will write Larry. It will be a great comfort to him and his wife. His address is LAWRENCE or LARRY BALFOUR, c/o Smiths Falls Community Hospital, South Unit, Room 110, Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada.
I am not at the helm of the staff, Belva, but this past September marked thirty years for me working with the magazines. I still write the column Soot in the Flues but you all have a wonderful caring staff in Lancaster they are all great people who care Bless you and keep your faith.
'I need some help on information to restore my Advance Rumely,' writes RAYMOND SCHOLL, Route 1, Box 459-A, Sugar Grove, North Carolina 28679.
'In August I purchased an Advance Rumely traction engine #15082 9 x 10, 18 HP. This was the first engine manufactured in 1920, according to an article in IMA May-June 1985 written by Keith Mauzy. The engine came from Palmyra, MO and was originally owned by the late Henry Kuntemeyer. I bought the engine from Henry's daughter Mary, and son-in-law Art Buckwalter. The engine was located through an ad in the IMA.'
'After getting the engine to North Carolina I hydro tested to 210 lbs. It was operated during the Carolina Fly wheelers Fall Show and the Autumn Leaves Crank-Up at Boone, N. C. It performed just fine many people here in the mountains have never seen a traction engine. I plan to fully restore the engine after completing a new shop.'
'I need information on the following: paint colors and pin striping. Are the side water tanks and rear tank the same size and construction? I need the dimensions for the coal bunker, canopy and tool box. Did all Advance Rumely traction engines use the Universal Logo? Who repairs throttle valves and steam gauges? How many Advance Rumely engines still exist?'
'I enjoy the IMA and GEM, especially articles written on proper care of engines. Would appreciate more articles on hydro testing of boilers. What are the pros and cons of boiler jackets?' (Now here you are fellows you can sit down and write Raymond about these inquiries and you can send them to me also for the column. I'm almost certain Ray will be getting some mail).
'I want to say how you have done a bang-up job with the Iron Men. I have been taking it since 1956. It has changed some but all for the good. I feel like I really had Anna Mae as a close neighbor. I saw her once at National Threshers Reunion. I really enjoy her column,' writes RICHARD HEAVEN, 155 W. Cross Street, Box 36, Clarksville, Michigan 48815 (The office sent this to me and I just want to say thank you, Richard, you know when I hear things like this, it makes my job mean so much more. And there are many names that are very familiar to me. I have many good friends from this communication. I was at the Nat'l. Threshers Reunion in 1960 where I met Richard.
I have had a letter from HARVEY GLOEGE, P.O. Box 158, Glenwood, Minnesota 56334: 'In your Jan-Feb. 1987 Iron Men Album, you published and pictured three machines from Ted S. Jansen, 1507 West Lancaster Avenue, Leesburg, Florida 32748, in which he asks your readers to name all three of these, a gas tractor, a steam engine, and a threshing machine. Having run my father's identical model of the top gas tractor shown, which was a 1912, 30-60HP Aultman Taylor gas, I could positively identify it for him as such. Also pictured separator I believe to be an Aultman Taylor make, but the picture of it is not clear enough to be real positive about it. I cannot identify the steam engine.' (Thanks for sending us this information, Harvey, and I have sent the letter to Mr. Jansen on to him).
A 22 HP Keck Gonnerman #1845, owned by Dale Smith of Troy, Ohio. Photo submitted by Sam Myers of West Milton, Ohio.
'I enjoy your magazine very much,' writes M. R. DUTCH, Crete, Nebraska 68333: 'I very much enjoyed the articles by John Forney, Jack Beamish, Chaddy Atteberry and J. Hoffendasher whose article prompted me to put in my two cents worth. I think Mr. Hoffendasher was right about having knee surgery and wearing out the knees on your britches from firing a Case. I've never fired a Case but they look like back breakers to me.'
'I have been around steam engines for a few years and although I don't claim to be an expert on the subject, I do have a pretty good idea of how one should and should not be operated.'
'I go to a few shows each year and at some of these shows, there is usually a sawmill which I hang around a lot or wherever an engine is working that is where I'll be found. What really bothers me is to see a good engine pulling a mill or thresher and the engineer is running the engine at half or three quarter throttle and the engine is being pulled way down. This is not only hard on an engine, but also hard on the sawmill, especially the blade.'
'If a man wants to run his own equipment that way, that's his business, but I know for a fact, that some of these engines and other equipment don't belong to these so-called engineers. If I let a man or woman run an engine of mine and he or she was lugging it down like I've seen some do, I would inform them that when working an engine or something that requires a lot of power that the throttle should be wide open and if a wide open throttle is too fast, then slow it down with the governor. And if I returned later and heard the engine lugging again I would open the throttle and find someone else to run the engine next year. I would not want to hurt his feelings by doing this, but I would not want them to hurt my engine by not running it the way it should be run. Besides, it would give a better demonstration to have the blade whine and hear the engine bark and saw lumber the way it was done; then one wouldn't hear people who know what's going on say 'Why can't he open up the throttle?'
'I'm not picking on any one engineer or show where I've seen this done, but even though the equipment may be in good shape, running one improperly can do a great deal of harm.'
'I've done a lot of criticizing but I hope it will be taken as constructive criticism. I also think this is the greatest hobby one could possibly have, not only being around the machines, but meeting the people associated with the hobby.'
Here's a reminder about a mistake made in May-June 1987, page 11. And you're probably right, Jacka gremlin did it (Ha Ha). The letter comes from JOHN A. BLAIR, 415 Timothy Avenue, Norfolk, Virginia 23505:
This unidentified threshing photo comes from the collection of the Indiana Historical Society.
'The difference between a period and a period with a tail is the fastest danged tractor ever heard of. In A. E. Rixmann's article Tractor and Steam Engine Drawbar Horsepower, the Gremlins got to the line-type. If you still use (.) these things, and changed 3.428 MPH to 3,428 MPH that's fast. Now, I have seen fast steam-powered vehicles, but I have never seen a tractor that could go over 3000 miles per hour. The May-June issue was still a great one.' (I'm sure everyone realized it was a mistake, Jack, but I liked your letter and thought we would all get a laugh out of it. We all make mistakes and I guess that's how we learn to do things better the next time.
I always like to leave you folks with a poem or thoughts to ponder and this time, first this poem
To live as gently as I cart;
To be, no matter where, a man;
To take what comes of good or ill
And cling to faith and honor still
To do my best, and let that stand
The record of my brain and hand;
And then, should failure come to me,
Still work and hope for victory
To have no secret place wherein
I stoop unseen to shame or sin;
To be the same when I'm alone
And when my every deed is known;
To live undaunted and unafraid
Of every step that I have made;
To be without pretense or sham
Exactly what men think I am.
To leave some simple mark behind
To keep my having lived in mind;
In enmity to aught I show,
To be an honest, generous foe,
To play my little part, nor whine
That greater honors are not mine.
This, I believe, is all I need
For my philosophy and creed.
And some food for thought Providence sends food for the birds but does not throw it in the nest- . . . Some people have plenty of jawbone but not enough backbone . . . It is not so much what we know as how well we use what we know . . . Consider the postage stamp. Its usefulness lies in the ability to stick to one thing until completed...Human beings, like chickens, thrive best when they scratch for what they get- . . . Where God guides, He provides . . . And that's it for this time my dear Iron-Men family have a good summer coming up and keep in touch.